The Sea Gardener
Interest in seaweed rising
|Marie, busy at her market stall|
Now the natural produce of the seashore is being used in all kinds of things. Samphire is everywhere there’s fish. Fenn’s Quay chef Kate Lawlor uses Carrigeen Moss in a dessert. I’ve eaten Nori crisps in West Cork. You may buy Nori Bake from Galway company Connemara Food Ventures. Arbutus are one of the bread companies using it. Recently, from a new Union Hall venture, I sniffed a gin with a seaweed ingredient! Today, there was a Seaweed class in UCC (Diploma in Speciality Food Production).
Today, I just want to shine a little light on Marie Power, the Sea Gardener, also from County Waterford. I met Marie during the Harvest Festival. I had to wait a little while as her stall was so busy. We enjoyed a little chat and then I moved on as people were starting to queue!
One of the things I bought that day was little bag of Dillisk. That brought me back to my childhood and holidays in Mayo with my mother who loved her Carrigeen and Dillisk. These are straightforward seaweeds.
But things have moved on a lot since those good old days. Maire had a few bars for sale and I helped myself to a couple. The Almond and Orange Bar was good but my slight favourite was the Coconut and Lime. Both contain free range eggs, seeds galore, dark chocolate and, of course, a seaweed mix.
|Dillisk & Sea Salt from Wild Atlantic Way Products|
She was also doing a tasting that sunny day of her Mushroom and Olive Caponata. I tried that and bought and it was used just the other day on top of a pasta dish, “180 mls of goodness”. It can also be used on vegetables or cold on crostini or salad or use as a dip with raw vegetables or crackers. Recommended!
By the way, Marie learned much of her early knowledge from a 2007 workshop in Annestown with Prannie Rhatigan (see above). Now Marie herself does foraging walks, cookery demos, ecology workshops, nutrition talks and visits schools and colleges as she spreads the good news about seaweed. And she has a book published too called The Sea Garden - a guide to seaweed cooking and foraging. The book and her products (also a list of stockists) are available online here - no queue!